Last updated October 10, 2018

Revisiting the trend of the tropical and subtropical Pacific surface latent heat flux during 1977–2006

  • Investigates the trend of ocean surface latent heat flux (LHF) over the tropical and subtropical Pacific (100°E–70°W, 35°S–35°N) during the period 1977–2006
  • Findings suggest that the ocean surface LHF presents a large-scale upward trend pattern, and the identified positive surface LHF trend is closely associated with both the sea surface temperature (SST) warming and the surface wind speed strengthening
  • Finds the SST increasing is the primary direct/local cause of the surface LHF trend, while the large-scale surface wind speed strengthening, ascribed to its contribution to the observed SST trend pattern, is an important indirect/nonlocal factor of the surface LHF trend.
  • Suggests that the coherent upward trends in surface LHF, surface wind speed, and SST should be in essence closely linked to the global warming forcing